A first win in a penalty shoot-out for over 10 years earned Chester FC safe passage through to the second round of the FA Trophy on Saturday.

With the scores tied 1-1 at the end of 90 minutes and 2-2 after 30 minutes of extra time, Andy Halls scored the decisive spot kick for Marcus Bignot's men to send them through 5-4 on penalties.

And the Blues now know their FA Trophy fate.

Chester will travel to Vanarama National League side East Thurrock United in the second round. Just the 460-mile round trip!

Signing off

That concludes our FA Trophy second round draw coverage for today.

To recap, here’s the highlights.

  • Chester drawn away to East Thurrock United
  • Tie to take place on Saturday, January 13
  • 481-mile round trip for the Blues
  • Winners of clash to receive £7,000

You can read the full report on the draw HERE.

Thanks for joining us.

The long trips keep coming

January 6 - Ebbsfleet United AWAY

January 13 - East Thurrock United AWAY

Combined total (from Swansway Chester Stadium): 958 miles

And where to drink?

The footballgroundguide.com offers up some tips.

A CAMRA pub!

There is a fair sized Club house called Rocks Bar at the ground itself. It has cask available and welcomes visiting supporters. The entrance to this bar is in the Club car park and the Club allow access to it again at half time from inside the stadium. Otherwise, a few minutes walk away (turn left out of the ground main entrance and the pub is up on right behind the Church) is the Bull, which offers real ale as well as food. If arriving at Stanford-le-Hope Railway Station, then nearby on Station Road is the Rising Sun pub, which is listed in the CAMRA Good Beer Guide.

What about Rookery Hill?

Here’s what footballgroundguide.com had to say about East Thurrock United’s home.

Overlooked by the church of Saint Mary the Virgin on one corner and surrounded by leafy countryside, the ground is situated in quite an attractive setting. The ground itself though, is bit of an odd affair. On one side is a small covered Main Stand, which sits astride the half way line and has a seated capacity of just 160. There are also a number of supporting pillars running across this side of the stand. On one side of this stand is a snack bar and club shop, whilst there are also two large portacabin looking structures, that are stacked on top of one another. All these are painted in a dark green, as well as the turnstiles entrance and a couple of of other smaller portacabins located on the other side of the Main Stand, in an effort to try and make them blend into their rural surroundings.


The team dugouts are located on the opposite side of the pitch, which leads to a procession of players and club staff at half and at full time. On one side of these dugouts (towards the Church End) is another small seated stand. Although only three rows high, it does have cover and doesn’t have any supporting pillars that could obstruct your view. It has 142 seats in total. On the other side of the dugouts towards the Manorway End, is another small covered seating area, with a capacity of 250. The Manorway End itself is an open area consisting of a small portion of flat standing. Opposite this, the Church End has a couple of odd looking structures that sit on each side of the goal. Both brick built and roofed they do provide some cover for standing spectators. The ground is completed with a set of six modern looking floodlight pylons, three of which run down each side of the pitch.

As long as he's happy!

So, who are East Thurrock United?

It will be a 460-mile round trip for the Blues on Saturday, January 13.

But what about East Thurrock United?

It will be the first time that the two teams have met. Here’s a bit about them.

League: Vanarama National League South

Position: 10th

Nickname: The Rocks

Stadium: Rookery Hill, Corringham, Stanford-le-Hope SS17 9LB

Capacity: 3,500 (550 seated)

Manager: John Coventry

Rookery Hill, East Thurrock
Rookery Hill, East Thurrock

Never tell me the odds

Well, I’m going to anyway. BetVictor make the Blues 40/1 to win the FA Trophy. Worth a couple of quid?

Tranmere are the 8/1 favourites, Sutton are 10/1, followed by Dover and Leyton Orient 12/1.

You can view the full odds HERE.

Trek

Was chuffed to see Marine win at Chester FC’s old foes Chorley at the weekend. Dover away in the next round, though? Ouch!

At least 11 National League clubs will exit the competition once all the first-round matches are played.

But, by and large, teams from the non-league top flight have avoided each other in the draw for the second round.

One definite all-National League tie will be between FC Halifax Town or Macclesfield Town v Maidenhead United.

Also, Gateshead or Guiseley will host Boreham Wood - providing Wood win their replay with Dartford.

But that’s about it.

Second-round draw in full

Ebbsfleet United v Altrincham/Warrington Town

Kidderminster Harriers v Stockport County

East Thurrock United v Chester FC

Bognor Regis Town v Leyton Orient

Brackley Town/Braintree Town v Barrow AFC

Chesham United/Weston-super-Mare v Workington AFC

Billericay Town v Stourbridge

FC Halifax Town/Macclesfield Town v Maidenhead United

Maidstone United v Heybridge Swifts/Hampton & Richmond Borough

Dover Athletic v Marine AFC

Gateshead/Guiseley AFC v Boreham Wood/Dartford

Wealdstone v Hereford FC

Sutton United v Hendon

Blyth Spartans AFC/AFC Telford United v Bromley

Spennymoor Town/Gainsborough Trinity v Solihull Moors/Tranmere Rovers

St Albans City v Harrogate Town

Confirmation

When does the tie take place?

The Blues will travel to Rookery Hill to face East Thurrock United on Saturday, January 13.

Bignot's text

Tony Incenzo helped with the draw on Talksport2. Here’s what he said.

Chester manager Marcus Bignot texted me this morning asking for a home draw.

Away to East Thurrock United, Essex.

A trip to Essex

East Thurrock United knocked out Aldershot Town in round one.

They belied their 10th place in National League South to earn a 4-0 triumph over the high-flying National League Shots.

A tricky draw for Chester.

Away to East Thurrock United

A long away trip for the Blues as they draw East Thurrock United.

Adverts

We’ve got a little way to go yet, it seems.

They have it at Selco, though. Good to know.

Draw in next five minutes

We’ve moved on from Man City now and we’re having a pre-draw chat on the main event - the FA Trophy draw.

Taking its time

The FA Trophy chat is limited at the start of the show.

We get it, Man City are great.

A delay

Adam Virgo talking to Ray Stubbs at present. Draw expected in ‘next 10 minutes’.

Probably

Almost time!

Draw on its way

We’re expecting the draw to be made in the next 20 minutes.

Stay tuned, folks.

First round shocks

Some of the National League big boys were slayed by lower league opposition in the first round, and that makes for an interesting line up of possible opponents in round two.

Dagenham & Redbridge were dumped out 3-2 at Hereford FC while Wrexham were humbled 2-0 at home to Harrogate Town.

Elsewhere, Aldershot Town were stunned as they were roundly trounced by 4-0 by East Thurrock United, and Hartlepool United were beaten 1-0 at Workington.

Last year’s winners York City, now in National League North, were beaten 2-1 at Kidderminster Harriers while Chorley were shocked 3-1 at home to Marine.

Oh yeah, this happened

After the FA Trophy success over AFC Fylde on Saturday we had to wait a little while longer for Marcus Bignot to come and speak to the media.

Here’s why.

A big moment for Halls

When Andy Halls slammed home the winning penalty for Chester FC on Saturday he booked the Blues a place in round two of the FA Trophy, a £6,000 financial reward and ensured the positive start to a crucial month continued.

It was a huge goal for the Blues for a variety of reasons, not least financially - but it was also a big moment for Halls himself.

HERE is the full story.

Chester defender Andy Halls is congratulated after scoring the winning penalty
Chester defender Andy Halls is congratulated after scoring the winning penalty (Image: Terry Marland)

One team not in the draw for round two

An emotional moment for Ross

Chester FC striker Ross Hannah dedicated his goal to his family and his late Nan after ending a tough week on a brighter note.

Hannah netted a second half goal in Chester’s FA Trophy success over AFC Fylde , where the Blues eventually triumphed 5-4 on penalties after ending all square at 2-2 after extra time.

And while the goal continued Hannah’s hot streak in front of goal with his fourth goal in his last five games, it was an especially poignant moment for the striker having lost his Nan at the age of 96 just 48 hours earlier.

It was an important goal for me today because I lost my Nan on Thursday, she passed away at 96 so it was an important goal and was nice to get that for the family. I thought about not playing but it helps take your mind off things.”

You can read the full story HERE.

Ross Hannah celebrates his goal with Lucas Dawson and James Akintunde
Ross Hannah celebrates his goal with Lucas Dawson and James Akintunde (Image: Terry Marland)

What time does the draw take place?

The second round draw will be made live on DAB digital radio station Talksport2 with Ray Stubbs, Adam Virgo and Tony Incenzo doing the honours at 1pm.

You can always follow it here, though!

How much is it worth?

The win over AFC Fylde earned Chester a much-needed £6,000 on Saturday.

But what would a win in round two be worth?

Well, the prize fund doesn’t get that much higher but it is nevertheless a handsome sum for a team like Chester. The winners of round two will receive £7,000.

Should Chester make it all the way the total prize money that would be accrued us £111,000.

Not to be sniffed at.

Who could the Blues face?

The draw is national from round two so there is the chance that Chester could be handed a hefty away day.

Obviously we hope that won’t be the case but here is the full list of who the Blues could face.

Hereford FC

Solihull Moors or Tranmere Rovers

Blyth Spartans or AFC Telford United

Kidderminster Harriers

Marine

FC Halifax Town or Macclesfield Town

Spenymoor Town or Gainsborough Trinity

Harrogate Town

Stourbridge

Stockport County

Warrington Town or Altrincham

Gateshead or Guiseley

Barrow

Workington

Leyton Orient

Dover Athletic

Wealdstone

Billericay Town

Chesham United or Weston Super Mare

Sutton United

Maidenhead United

St Albans City

East Thurrock United

Hendon

Ebbsfleet United

Maidstone United

Bromley

Braintree Town or Brackley

Bognor Regis Town

Hampton & Richmond or Heybridge Swifts

Dartford or Boreham Wood